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EBU News Report focuses on trusted journalism in the age of generative AI

24 June 2024
Image of a brain superimposed onto a typewriter to depict journalism and AI

This year’s EBU News Report addresses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on journalism and the news industry, posing vital questions for current and future news reporting and the role of humans in that process.   

Trusted Journalism in the Age of Generative AI draws on in-depth interviews with 40 media leaders and academic experts from different continents, providing a roadmap for the opportunities and challenges for journalism, while emphasizing the need for maintaining integrity in an increasingly complex information ecosystem. It presents an array of practical case studies, checklists, and first-hand insights into the everyday challenges of managing the implementation of generative AI in news organizations. 

The report is well-timed. The transformation of news media by generative AI is not a distant possibility – it is happening right now, creating new dependencies on Big Tech that media leaders need to manage. 

Dr Alexandra Borchardt, Lead Author, emphasizes the urgency of the moment: "We stand at a crossroads where the choices we make about integrating AI into news work will determine whether we enhance journalism’s connections with its audiences or undermine the credibility and trusted relationships its legitimacy is built on. This report aims to guide those crucial decisions that will inform how we produce and deliver news – and how audiences consume it – for years to come." 

The EBU News Report underscores the need for independent reporting to inform citizens and help uphold democratic values. It also highlights that while generative AI can – and will – reshape the news industry by enhancing, diversifying, and improving journalism, human oversight remains indispensable to maintaining accuracy and accountability. In fact, the evidence points to AI seamlessly integrating into journalism, benefiting both journalists and audiences by enriching the news production and consumption experience.  

Key insights include: 

  •     Accuracy and storytelling: Even with AI, accurate, fact-based storytelling is essential. 
  •     Accountability: AI tools can aid journalists in holding power to account, but human oversight is paramount. 
  •     Trust and relationships: Building loyal relationships with audiences is critical in a fragmented digital environment. 
  •     Editorial judgement: Journalists will still be key in resource allocation and content prioritization. 
  •     Community and real-world reporting: Emphasis on human-driven, on-the-ground reporting remains vital. 

The report also poses important questions around balancing the influence of Big Tech; audience reception of AI-generated content; the combating of misinformation; and ensuring sustainable business models in an AI-driven market. 

Liz Corbin, EBU Director of News, says: "While Generative AI will transform newsrooms and help us bring more relevant fact-based information to more people, it can, in the wrong hands, threaten to erode the trust that is fundamental to journalism and therefore democracy. As public service media, our mission is to harness AI's potential while playing an active role in safeguarding the integrity of journalism. 

“The EBU News Report always aims to provide practical advice and real-world inspiration, drawing on the experiences of our Members and the wider industry. This edition does this extensively and I’m immensely grateful to the authors for producing such a comprehensive and useful report on such a fast-moving topic." 

The EBU News Report 2024: Trusted Journalism in the Age of Generative AI is available to download now. Lead author is Dr Alexandra Borchardt, supported by Dr Felix M. Simon; Olle Zachrison; Kati Bremme; Justyna Kurczabinska; Ed Mulhall; and Yolène Johanny.  
Join us online on 26 June for a free webinar where leading experts Dr Alexandra Borchardt and Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, will delve into critical issues concerning AI in the newsroom, management challenges and ethical questions.

Relevant links and documents


Jo Waters

Head of Content Communications

Notes to editors

The EBU News Report 2024 has 15 detailed case studies exploring areas such as use of synthetic voices; live subtitling; automatic transcription and AI-generated translation; using AI-powered newsroom tools; using AI for community management; and many more.  

The media outlets sharing their experience in these areas are: ABC (Australia); Aftenposten (Norway); Aftonbladet (Sweden); Agência Pública (Brazil); BBC (UK); BR (Germany); Daily Maverick (South Africa); European Broadcasting Union (EBU); Expressen (Sweden); France Télévisions (France); Futuri (USA); JP Politiken (Denmark); Radio France (France); RBB (Germany); SR (Sweden); SvD (Sweden); VG (Norway); VRT (Belgium); and Yle (Finland). 

The report also features 14 insightful Q&As that delve into the current thinking on AI and journalism from leading industry experts across the broadcast media industry, academia, policy and media strategy.  

Trusted Journalism in the Age of Generative AI is the latest in the series of annual EBU News Reports that drill down into a major topic with implications for news and journalism. Previous reports include Climate Journalism That Works – Between Knowledge and Impact; The Future of the TV News Bulletin; and What’s Next? Public Service Journalism in the Age of Distraction, Opinion and Information Abundance.